I Bought a Few Books



Because books are fun. Books are relaxing. Books are therapeutic. Books are educational. Books are a good way to deny reality. Books are also surprisingly affordable if you buy them used like I do. I suppose there are worse shopping addictions to have. So, what have I purchased lately?

Last month I read a book about women who settled the western U.S. I posted a photo of it on Instagram and got a few recommendations for more books on the same subject. I am endlessly fascinated by what these women's lives were like and the living conditions they dealt with. I bought Women's Diaries of the Westward Journey by Lillian Schlissel and Women of the West by Cathy Luchetti and Carol Olwell. 



I stopped in at a library a few days ago and bought three books for 75 cents each. The one I am most excited about is Circus Shoes by Noel Streatfeild. I loved her books when I was a child but only read the ones my library had and they didn't have that many. I don't think I ever came across this one. I am saving it to read on a snow day this winter with a cup of hot chocolate and some cookies. Basically, I am going to relive my childhood. I also bought The Persian Price by Evelyn Anthony. I don't know anything about this but I read about her on a blog somewhere recently and thought I would give her a try. The last book is Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. I like nonfiction and nonfiction about WWII is definitely my preferred time period. 



I read a review of Home Life by Alice Thomas Ellis here.  Ellis wrote a weekly column in the Spectator and this is a collection of some of those columns. The back of the book says that "with inimitable wit and perspicacity, she discourses on the vagaries of cats and neighbors, the recalcitrance of washing machines, the problems in getting to Wales and the even greater problems that inevitably await her there." It sounds like it should be a joy. 

My husband bought the next book for me when we went to wander around Barnes & Noble one afternoon. I had a ridiculously huge stack of books I was carrying around and he said he would buy whatever I wanted. However, spending $150 on books at that point seemed foolish so I narrowed it down to The Collected Essays of Elizabeth Hardwick. She is described as writing during the golden age of the American literary essay. I have dipped into it a bit and am enjoying it greatly. It is one of those books you read an essay at a time so it will take a while. 

Finally, I bought Letters of E. B. White. Of course, we all know him because of Charlotte's Web but I have also read and enjoyed some of his essays. I love letters and diaries so when I came across this I had to have it. 

Have you read any of these? Have you bought any particularly interesting books lately that I should know about? 






10 comments

  1. I've not read any of these, but Unbroken is on my TBR shelves too. I own lots of books about women in the old west, but not those two! Yet.

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  2. That's a great stack of books (even if you haven't technically stacked them). I haven't read any of them, but I'm tempted to go check for a copy of Home Life. Though I think I had a volume of E.B. White's letters at some point, gleaned from a library sale - I may have given it back to the library.

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    1. Well, they are stacked now--next to a bookshelf because I have run out of space on bookshelves. Does that mean I should stop buying books?!

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  3. I have also run out of bookcases, I feel a trip to IKEA coming on! I recently bought a couple of Streatfeild 'shoes' books, but they'll be first time reads for me. I've enjoyed Evelyn Anthony fairly recently but binged on her books in the 1970s.

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    1. Did you review one of her books recently? That must be where I heard of her. I need more bookshelves but the problem is that I don't really have anywhere to put another bookcase. I am not sure what to do about that but I am sure I will come up with a solution because I have no intention of giving up buying books!

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  4. Canadian writer Mavis Gallant said: "Stories are not chapters of a novel. They should not be read one after another, as if they were meant to follow along. Read one. Shut the book. Read something else. Come back later. Stories can wait." I think the same applies to essays.

    Buying used is the only way to go. (Un)fortunately, our village has at least two excellent used book venues. My bookshelves groan . . .

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    1. I like that quote. It is very true. Stories-or essays-run together if you read them all at once.

      I am so envious of your "two excellent used book venue". I have to drive at least an hour to get to one. I suppose that is good for my budget but it certainly isn't as fun!

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  5. Women of the West looks interesting. I'm currently re-reading the Little House on the Prairie books so it's a subject that intrigues me.

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    1. The two seem to go together! Now I want to reread the Little House books.

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